Back to the basics: finding work-life balance during a pandemic

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Shannon Bowman
  • 6th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

Though the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic have forced changes to the normal operating environment, the Airmen of the 6th Air Refueling Wing have stepped up, as they always do, to ensure that the mission of delivering unmatched air refueling support carries on.

For Tech. Sgt. Shawna Wise, a 6th Force Support Squadron Airman Leadership School instructor, getting back to the basics has enabled her to find a sense of normalcy during this time of adversity.

Wise explained that although the whole world has slowed down to combat the spread of COVID-19, she has used this time to as a chance to reflect, relax and grow.

“I’ve been able to get a full nine hours of sleep, and wake up to quiet mornings sipping coffee on the back porch with my husband,” said Wise. “I’ve used time to prepare meals from all fresh ingredients, and finally finished a gardening project that I had been working on for six months.”

Wise has also kept herself busy by running 10 miles each week, working on her education in a business law course and helping her son with his online school work. She has managed to sustain this routine all while keeping her commitment to developing future Air Force leaders.

“My fellow ALS instructors and the commandant have held regular video conference calls, to share ideas for future ALS courses,” said Wise. “I’m really proud of what we have been able to accomplish as a team, and that we will be able to put into action a team building exercise that I developed.”

In a recent video, Chief Master Sgt. Kaleth O. Wright, Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force, stated that Airman must be able to find ways of establishing and maintaining a “new normal” as it pertains to working from home, virtually connecting and maintaining their overall wellness.

For Wise, keeping a busy daily routine, and focusing on simple tasks that are often overlooked, have helped her acclimate to this new normal and find balance during these challenging times.

“I’ve stuck to the basics of eating clean, working out and getting plenty of rest,” said Wise.  “I feel that by cementing these habits now, we can all come out of this stronger than before.”

COVID-19 has brought forth some unprecedented challenges, but like Tech. Sgt. Shawna Wise show that Airman remain ready and resilient. Whether adjusting to telework, minimal manning schedules or to whatever difficulties this pandemic present, Airmen will adapt and do whatever it takes to move the Air Force mission forward and ensure the safety and security of the nation.